“Sari-sari” – Tagalog for “variety.” Small convenience stores usually attached or part of someone’s house, carrying various snacks or common household items. You’ll probably find at least 2-3 sari-saris in every block of the Philippines.
Since when did I become dependent on Sari-sari Store culture?
It’s Saturday morning and I find myself wandering the neighborhood looking for the nearest sari-sari store because the one next to my house is closed. Clad in sweats and a baggy shirt, I’m also sporting the uncombed, tossled, bed hair. You might ask, “why am I wandering outside in the first place when I look like I’ve just rolled out of bed?” Well, the fact is I did just roll out of bed. It’s morning and I want coffee. I didn’t buy coffee at the market because I knew I could just as conveniently buy it at my sari-sari…that is, unless it’s closed. And because I really want my Kopico Brown Coffee 3-in-1, I embarked on this quest. My search leads me down to a hidden store near one of my neighbors where my mission is successfully completed.
Since when did I become addicted to 3-in1 coffee?
Another morning, again dependent on my sari-sari for my coffee fix, I grad a handful of pesos as I head outside. It’s closed. A woman sitting on the bench outside sees my disappointed face and comemerizes with me.
“I know. It’s closed. I’m texting her right now. She said she’d be open early today.”
Pointing with her lips she indicates a store less than a block away. The same one I visited the last time I had this issue.
“There’s a sari-sari there but I don’t want to go there. It’s too far.”
I agree. It is too far. Not as convenient I decide. Then I walk back inside waiting for Ate to come open her store.
Sometimes I think about my life and think how strange it is. Would I act like this in America? Maybe if all the houses in my neighborhood at home also sold conveniences like coffee, instant noodles, candy, and shampoo, I’d be just as tempted.
a girl who dreams